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Musical Instruments In Worship -- Biblical?
Posted by: Reformation Church | more..
44,200+ views | 250+ clicks | 1 user comments
BLOG ON: SERMON I Can't Get No Satisfaction
Reformation Church
W. J. Mencarow
"What about David and others who encouraged people of old to sing with instruments?" -- e-mail from a listener

If that argument is to be accepted as approving or commanding the use of instruments in New Testament worship, then we have no Biblical warrant to stop there. We must look to the Old Testament not only for the bare fact of the use of instruments, but we are bound to follow all the instructions for their use. Where is the Biblical warrant for picking and choosing what we shall take from OT worship and what we will not? There is none. Since those who challenge our position (no instruments in worship) want to use the OT Temple worship as their warrant for NT worship, they must follow this line of reasoning out all the way and admit that there is no Biblical warrant for using anything other than the specific instruments the Lord commanded for worship in the OT. Those are tymbrels, nebels (harps), lutes, cymbals, trumpets, organs, psalteries, kinnors, and an "instrument of ten strings." In fact, if our worship is to take as its model the Temple worship, all of these must be used in worship.

And only Levites can be allowed to play the instruments in worship -- not just play them but prophesy with them (I Chron. 15, 23, 25, II Chron. 30). So the advocates of instruments will first have to find a lot of Jews who can prove they are descended from the tribe of Levi and who are willing to play instruments in Christian worship. They will have to find 4,000 of them to be exact, since that was the number David chose as Temple musicians. And those 4,000 must be only those who can prophesy with instruments! (First, of course, they will have to tell us what prophesying with instruments means.) Finally, this playing/prophesying of instruments must go on 24 hours a day in the church.

Of course, if we are to take Temple worship as our model, we must also have incense, vestments, priests, and animal sacrifices. Again, where is the Biblical warrant for picking and choosing what we shall take from OT worship and what we will not? Is their argument that instruments are not part of the ceremonial law? I am glad that I do not, as advocates of instruments do, have to argue that instruments are not part of the ceremonial law that has been fulfilled in Christ, but that the rest of the Temple worship is. That is the position that instrument advocates must take when they argue from Temple worship as their example. Either that, or they have to argue that instruments are adiaphora, which is an equally untenable argument, in my opinion.

The words "instrument" or "instruments" referring to the use of musical instruments in worship appear more than 20 times in the Old Testament (in the KJV). They do not appear once in the New Testament in referring to worship. In fact, it was only in Temple worship, and that only for a period of time, that instruments were used. They were not used in Tabernacle worship, they were not used before Solomon built the Temple, they were not used in synagogue worship. It was only in the 1800s that Reform Jewish synagogues began using musical instruments. They are not used in Orthodox synagogues to this day.

At the Last Supper, Jesus, who instituted a new sacrament, could have easily changed worship as well. Instead, He and the Apostles gave us the model of church worship by ending the Supper singing the Great Hallel (Psalms 113-118) a capella. Instruments were not used in the early church. They were not used for at least 1,000 years after Christ, when the church had become grossly corrupted with paganism.

The Lord forever destroyed Old Testament worship in 70 A.D. by destroying the Temple in Jerusalem. For more on the meaning of this event and what it means for Christians today, see the sermon series "The Great Tribulation -- Not What You Think" beginning at http ://ww w.ser monau dio.c om/se rmoni nfo.a sp?SI D=912 06222 644

"It was the synagogues that remained after AD.70, NOT the Temple! The original purpose of the synagogue was primarily for Scripture-reading and exposition of the passages read (Lk.4:16-22; Mt.13:54; Mk.1:21-22; Jn.6:59).

"So long as one's idea of worship is rooted in the Temple concept, one will crave "celebrations" and big displays. The charismatic style of worship naturally arises out of this false concept of the O.T. Temple." (From "Synagogue Worship" by Alfred Edersheim)

"What about David and others who encouraged people of old to sing with instruments?" A much better question is, "What about Jesus who didn't sing with instruments?"


Category:  Worship

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Blog Item4/10/08 2:17 PM
Mike | Texas  Find all comments by Mike
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Do we really know if Jesus sang with instruments or not. We know there were times he didn't, But never?

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